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Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Freezer Friendly

Did you know that frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh produce? When freezing fruits and vegetables, it is done at their peak ripeness, preserving their nutritional value. On the other hand, after being harvested, fresh fruits and vegetables can lose some nutrients due to exposure of heat and light. Whether it is frozen or fresh, the new MyPlate recommends making half your plate fruits and vegetables so be sure to incorporate these items into your diet each day Look below for some pointers to keep in mind when choosing frozen fruits and vegetables. 

Frozen Fruit

  • When certain fruits are out of season, you can often find them frozen instead.
  • Frozen fruits are available sweetened or unsweetened. Fruits are naturally sweet, so try the unsweetened version and add sugar as needed.
  • Try frozen fruits added to smoothies, mixed with oatmeal, on top of a waffle, or just enjoy them plain!

 Frozen Vegetables

  • To control fat and sodium, look for plain vegetables, without added sauces. You can add your own seasonings such as olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Use your microfridge to store and then cook frozen vegetables for a quick and healthy snack. 
  • Think beyond frozen peas. Butternut squash, artichoke hearts, spinach, and edamame are just a few of the many nutritious options available frozen.

Although the majority of the fruits and vegetables in the dining hall are purchased fresh, Rutgers Dining Services also provides healthy frozen fruits and vegetables to ensure variety and supply all year long. In the dining halls, fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and mangos are used for smoothies and preserved fruit toppings. Peas, pearl onions, and carrots are just some of the frozen vegetables used year-round in the dining halls. Regardless if they are fresh or frozen, fruits and vegetables should always be consumed as part of a well-balanced diet.

 Fresh or frozen, as long as they’re chosen!

 

Author: Alexa Essenfeld                                          Reviewed By:  Peggy Policastro, MS, RD -Dept. of Nutritional Sciences

References: Frozen Foods: Convenient and Nutritious. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/kids/article.aspx?id=6442466934 Accessed on: April 1, 2012. Nutritious Frozen/Canned Fruits and Vegetables. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Media/Blog.aspx?id=4294968795&blogid=269. Accessed on: April 1, 2012. Are Fresh Fruits and Veggies Better than Frozen? Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442451896. Accessed on: April 1, 2012.

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